Budgernaut

Pretending to be developers: fixing the Uthuk Y'llan

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Over the course of this game, several comments have been posted to various forums that basically express this sentiment:

 

@all: I know I wrote it in other threads: I think they made some errors designing Uthuk: there are so much units that are not on par with the rest: worst archers, worst casters and with Grotesques the worst elite unit in the game... so it's very hard to change army list's like if you play any other army...

 

After browsing a few threads, the consensus seems to be that the weakest units (in no particular order) are Viper Legion, Blood Sister, and Grotesque. So here's my question: if you were a developer for the game and had to make a document of errata to fix these units, what changes would you make and why?

 

Comparing Viper Legion to Skeleton Archer, they're not too different. They have the same stats and each one can apply a condition with a [heroic] result. So it seems to me that the real difference comes down to the strength of the condition being applied. In my opinion, the condition needs to be stronger, but it shouldn't be too strong. It's hard to come up with interesting ideas. My first idea is to change poison to "When a poisoned unit is ordered, its owner may spend 2 lore to remove the poison token. If it's owner does not remove the poison token, this unit suffers 1 damage at the end of the Command step." This has 3 possible effects on your opponent: 1) the unit takes 1 guaranteed damage if it is ordered, 2) your opponent pretty much has to spend 2 lore, or 3) if your opponent doesn't like either of those options, they have to choose to not order that unit. I think this effect gets stronger in the late game as more units are eliminated so your opponent has fewer units to order. I'm not completely sold on this idea and would love to hear other ideas, but I think the Poison condition is the primary weakness of the Viper Legion.

 

For the Blood Sister, I just hate how lore-starved she makes you. First, you effective spend a lore to use her ability. Second, you need to spend 2 lore later to remove the bleed condition from one of your friendly units. What I would really like to see is an addendum to Blood Fields. I'd like it to say, "At the start of a player's turn, if that player's unit occupies a blood field hex, that unit may either recover 1 health or remove one condition token from its hex." This sets up a combo where a Blood Sister can keep bleeding a unit in the Blood Field hex, gaining the benefit but allowing you to negate the cost of removing the bleed condition. It is powerful, but it isn't foolproof. First of all, Blood Fields don't move, so you're restricted in where on the map you can execute the combo. Second, your enemy can push the bleeding unit off of the Blood Field, breaking the combo.

 

For the Grotesque, I have no idea. How about you?

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My suggestions below. The idea is to try to fix the units with the minimal modification of the rules.

 

 

Viper Legions: I tried and tested several alternative for the vipers. Now I think  a good choice would be:

 

[Heroic] Poison the target and if already poisoned inflict one hit.

 

 

Grotesque: This is untested, but hardly overpowered.

 

Bone Blast: Replace "Instead advancing" with "After advancing"

 

 

Blood Sisters: This is untested, but again not a game changer. It trasforms the sisters from a sink to a source of magic, which is also thematically more appealing.

 

[Lore]: If Blood Magic is used, in addition to cause 1 damage to the target unit, it also grants 2 Lore tokens to the Uthuk player.

 

 

More importantly: I'm available to test all these variants on Vassal  :-)

Willange and Budgernaut like this

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I like your change to the Grotesque. It makes it so that if you attack an enemy on a banner, you can still take the banner and get your second shot. The one issue I have is that in the cases where the Grotesque is already on a banner, attacks an adjacent unit and forces it to retreat, it can no longer use its Bone Blast ability. What if it instead read, "After the Advance step of combat ..."? Then it gives you flexibility in both situations.

 

For the Viper Legion, it seems like it becomes an excellent ability when you have legions of Viper Legions, but if you only have 1 or 2 of the units, that change doesn't seem like it would have as much of an impact. But you said you tested it a bit, and you like the way it works. Do you think that's really all it takes to bring Viper Legion up to the level of other archers?

 

The Blood Sister change seems really good. It almost negates the drawback of Blood Magic completely. But at the same time, you have a lot of flexibility. You could choose to not remove the bleed token to instead spend that lore on lore cards. It seems strong and easy to implement.

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The case in which the Grotesque is already on the banner... it should not have attacked at all :-) In any case, I would keep the range attack conditional upon forcing the enemy to retreat. So if you really want to add this possibility, I would say "After or instead of advancing...".

 

On the Viper, this bring the probability to hit a poisoned target to 1/2.  Not bad. I would think twice to leave a poisoned unit in the range of the vipers. And imagine if they attack with the Fury of Ylan....

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The case in which the Grotesque is already on the banner... it should not have attacked at all :-) In any case, I would keep the range attack conditional upon forcing the enemy to retreat. So if you really want to add this possibility, I would say "After or instead of advancing...".

Oh. Yeah, that was my intention, that the ranged attack was still conditional on the retreat. But now that you've pointed it out, I see that my wording allowed for it to be used whether a retreat was resolved or not. Thank you for pointing that out. "After or instead of advancing ..." could definitely work for the revised wording, but what about, "After this unit forces an enemy unit to retreat ..."? Is that any clearer or is it just a confusing concept no matter how we word it?

 

I'm going to have to try out your Viper Legion one next time I play.

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Actually, "After or instead of advancing" works better because otherwise you need more text to clarify that it doesn't work during counters, so your text is definitely better.

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Grotesque:

 

bone blast: Instead of a melee attack, Grotesque may perform a ranged attack (2 dice, 1-3 distance) (I think it would be enough with 2 dices attack)

 

bleeding is also ridicolously weak compared with the stun effect of the Golems:

bleeding: -1 attack dice

stun: reduce attack dices to 0, no Counter, no movement, every retreat=dammage

so I think we could adjust bleeding to at least: - 2 attack dices

 

Archers:

I think your idea is great. Like poisoning has no insta-effect, they need a strong effect that stays. I think you are on the right way.

 

 

Blood sisters:

The Syphon ability is on a high level situativ like both Units have to be wounded. I think it would be enough:

heroic: recover 1 health

Also blood magic is quite weak compared to the abilities of the other casters. You pay 1 lore AND a bleeding marker for one singleton damage? Sorry but it's just so overpriced! But I think the Adaption of the blood field would do one part. But I think this rule should be completely changed. Why not giving them a strong effect and they have to sacrifice one blood sister, would be fluffy and giving them a synergie to Syphon and blood fields...

 

Blood field:

I like the version were it may remove tokiens also. I would say it may also not be overpowered if: at the beginning heal 1 damage and remove a token

Edited by phalgast
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Viper Legion:

The real problem with the viper legion is that, unlike the undead archer, their ability has no immediate effect and no strong synergy within its own faction.  The Uthuk have, in general, very few synergies within their own faction that are specific to their faction.  The only one they really have is that flesh rippers and blood sisters both thrive off of already damaged units and their infantry especially are good at making sure the enemy has at least one damage.  It's a very weak faction synergy compared to Daqan and Undead armies.  For me, I see the opportunity for the Viper Legions to feed into this.  You could (though I really like g1ul10's great change) make poison count the target unit as damaged thereby enabling flesh rippers and blood sisters.

Blood Sister:

This unit has 2 glaring weaknesses.  The first is that the lore cost of using blood magic is really steep.  You guys already pointed that out.  The second is that syphon life often procs when you don't really need it or can't use it.  Those 2 weaknesses together make it weak.  I think there are 2 potential changes that can be made here:

  1. Let Blood Magic give you 1 lore.  That changes the net loss on your ability from -3 to -2.  This alone isn't super substantive, but it does help.
  2. Allow Syphon Life to (instead of healing you) cure a condition on an adjacent (or maybe 2 hexes away) friendly unit.  The ability would still only proc against damaged units.  

Neither of those changes feel overpowering to me and it would make the ranged uthuk army have a lot of synergy with my suggested Viper Legion change.

 

Grotesque:

This is the most obviously underpowered unit in the game, imho.  It sucks because the bleed ability is relatively weak (especially in comparison to stun on rune golems).  It also sucks because bone blast is almost never usable.  Even if you allow them to bone blast after advancing rather than instead of advancing, the ability remains relatively useless.  If you just pushed an enemy unit off of a VP hex and you then advance on to it, why would you bone blast?  Most of the time that enemy unit will only have gone 1 hex back, so if you miss the bone blast, there's a good chance they could just counter you right off the hex you just took.  It's better if you killed the target to advance, but that will only be the case some of the time and even then the only good targets for bone blast might be adjacent to the hex, so then you just won't use it.  The problem here is that the grotesque should fill the role of an offensive, mobile, elite (because obscenes are presumably meant to fill the defender role), and they don't really fill the role that well at all. 

Now that I have my rant out of the way (sorry), I will tell you my suggestion on them.  Leave Bleeding as it is.  It's weak, but make bone blast good enough to make up for that and the fact that rune golems have immovable.  Make Bone Blast usable after the entire attack sequence has finished.  That means they could attack, be countered, then bone blast.  They could attack, advance, then bone blast.  There are still plenty of times you won't use this ability, but it will make them much better assault units I think.  If the enemy doesn't budge initially, then you get to shoot again.  It would spread damage around the enemy a little more (more synergy points!) and allow the grotesque to be a consistent threat.  The only nerf here is that you couldn't get more than one bone blast (as if that ever happened anyway).  This might seem OP, but I really don't think it is.  This is making up for a crappy ability and something as powerful as immovable.  It's also only adding 3 ranged dice which on average won't do too much in the way of damage.

Those are just my ideas though.  If you think they're bad, I'd love to hear why as I'm always looking to make Battlelore more interesting.

 

EDIT: I realized my bone blast thing may not have been super clear.  They can ALWAYS (unless they die to a counter) bone blast after the full attack sequence is over regardless of how it went.

Edited by Willange
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In my opinion the only unit that really needs a fix is the Grotesque. The Viper Legion is not so bad, but the Blood Sisters is not a weak unit by any mean! According to me it's just one that doesn't look as strong at first glance as it actually is. I actually used them to great effect in the past and at this point I hardly play Uthuk without them. I would like to share with you my analysis:

 

Blood Sisters have the same chance of hitting of a melee unit but they are ranged. This means: first blood, no counter-attack, no reduction against flying units (like the greatly feared Roc Warrior or the Burrow Wyrm) and no reduction against Wraiths, since they are casters. Therefore they are a unit with a good offensive potential and a particularly strong pick against Waiqar, since it's a substantial threat to two of their most expensive units. Furthermore they also have a good defense, because again they don't get countered and because they can syphon. Syphon is NOT situational, because they move 2 and their range is 3. I can't believe that you can't find a wounded target within 5 hexes from their position after the first couple of turns.

 

So they have a good offense AND a good defense. This would be terribly unbalanced without a drawback. That drawback is that each hit with Blood Magic costs you 3 lore, which means that you are not going to have a lot left for your spells. There's however a way around it. If you notice, Uthuk's Lore Decks already have a lower cost curve than those of the other two factions... well, then all you need to do is deck-build expensive spells out and cheaper ones in. Cards like Parry and Blood Sacrifice (particularly good with Blood Sisters) might not be as devastating as Dark Pact, but they are still going to help you out a lot and you will be able to cast them without too much trouble even with the lore shortage that Blood Magic causes.

 

Lastly I want to mention one of the best synergies that I discovered playing Uthuk. Nobody argues that Flesh Ripper Brutes are probably the best unit at our disposal. Yet they can show their potential only if they can use Bloodthirst and Pursue. Therefore it's usually a bad idea to activate them and attack a unit at full-health. Of course you can wait until some infantry damages something to attack, but in my experience no other unit gives Flesh Rippers a possibility to shine like the Blood Sisters. Since they are ranged, they can damage a unit way before a melee unit but still with the same chances. All they need is one hit among three dice. Then the Flesh Rippers come and sweep that unit off the board, because they now need 2 hits among three dice with 50% chance on each one, maybe even 66% if somehow the enemy can't retreat  :D I used this tactic a lot in the past and it works like a charm!

Edited by AlasDemigod

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Blood Sisters have the same chance of hitting of a melee unit but they are ranged. This means: first blood, no counter-attack, no reduction against flying units (like the greatly feared Roc Warrior or the Burrow Wyrm) and no reduction against Wraiths, since they are casters. Therefore they are a unit with a good offensive potential and a particularly strong pick against Waiqar, since it's a substantial threat to two of their most expensive units. Furthermore they also have a good defense, because again they don't get countered and because they can syphon. Syphon is NOT situational, because they move 2 and their range is 3. I can't believe that you can't find a wounded target within 5 hexes from their position after the first couple of turns.

 

So they have a good offense AND a good defense. This would be terribly unbalanced without a drawback. That drawback is that each hit with Blood Magic costs you 3 lore, which means that you are not going to have a lot left for your spells. There's however a way around it. If you notice, Uthuk's Lore Decks already have a lower cost curve than those of the other two factions... well, then all you need to do is deck-build expensive spells out and cheaper ones in. Cards like Parry and Blood Sacrifice (particularly good with Blood Sisters) might not be as devastating as Dark Pact, but they are still going to help you out a lot and you will be able to cast them without too much trouble even with the lore shortage that Blood Magic causes.

I can see why you like them, but they don't hit exactly as good as a melee unit. A non-weak melee unit can damage on any combination of [cleave] and results. The Blood Sister can hit on any combination of [pierce] and [lore] results. If you roll a [pierce] and a [lore], it may not seem so bad to spend 3 lore to deal 1 damage (though I think that's costly unless it will eliminate the target). However, what about if you roll [lore]-[lore]? You can deal 2 damage, but at the effective cost of 6 lore. Is 6 lore worth dealing 2 damage instead of dealing 0 damage and gaining 2 lore? That's really a choice the player has to make, depending on the situation, but to me that sounds like a bad exchange in general. Plus, if the Blood Sister gets by herself, the only target she can bleed is herself and that means she can only turn 1 lore into damage, no matter how many lore results she rolls. This makes her Blood Magic slightly less powerful than a melee attack. It's true, she can attack without being countered -- one of the major benefits of ranged units in general.

 

I play Viper Legion a lot, and even using lore results to deal damage to poisoned units can make me feel lore-starved. But to spend 3 lore to deal 1 damage? That absolutely destroys your economy. Maybe I do just need to play with Blood Sisters more and work on my decisions of when to activate Blood Magic and when not to.

 

You've made a good point that Blood Sisters are not completely useless, but let's compare the Blood Sister to the other casters. The Greyhaven Battlemages can add shield tokens with no drawback, effectively increasing the health of their units. (Well, I suppose the drawback is that they do not deal damage when they shield their allies.) For their lore result, they get 1 lore, like normal, and they get a lore card. They can dig for the cards they need while still getting a lore to help pay for it. And the Daqan lore cards are pretty strong, so I think their ability to dig for the cards you need is pretty good. Now, they don't have the damage potential of a Blood Sister, but they are an excellent support unit. Contrast that to the Blood Sister who can deal some extra damage, but is basically anti-support. You have to pay a lot of extra stuff to get some extra damage that puts her about on par with other melee units. Why not just take other melee units?

 

For the comparison with the Necromancer, the ability to steal a lore from an opponent for 1 [lore] result is nice. Like the Daqan, you get your normal 1 lore and you get to take one away from your opponent, essentially for free. What does the Blood Sister do? You get a damage, but not for free -- you have to bleed a friendly unit, essentially costing you 2 extra lore. Assigning 1 bleed token in exchange for 1 damage seems decent to me. As you said, there has to be a drawback. But what gets me is that they don't get their normal lore for rolling the lore result like the other 2 factions' caster units do. I agree with Willange that just letting them get their 1 lore with their roll would help put them on par with the other casters. Indeed, if you abstract the lore costs, getting 1 lore pays for half of the requirement to remove the bleed token. That means the damage you deal is essentially coming at 1 extra lore, which is the same cost to damage a poisoned unit and -- as I've said from my experience -- can already be costly. The Necromancer's heroic ability is by far the strongest, assuming you built an army to support it. That extra movement and attack can get you up to 4 damage for one heroic result! (That's assuming you influence a full-health Reanimates unit.) But even if you only deal a single damage with that attack -- which is on par with the Blood Sister's 1 damage for a heroic result -- you could still be rolling lore with the other dice, meaning you are dealing damage and accelerating your lore economy. This is opposite of what Blood Sisters do! Now, to be fair, Influence requires more setup. You have to have minion units within 2 hexes and the target needs to be within 1 hex of the influenced unit to be able to attack it (unless that unit is a Skeleton Archer).

 

Speaking of Waiqar's undead, you mentioned that Blood Sisters are great against them because they can roll their maximum dice against Wraiths and Barrow Wyrms, which could be sorely needed. But on the flip side, if the Waiqar player brings Necromancers, they could Drain your lore and you end up with a bunch of bleeding units with no way to heal them. Granted, you likely won't see Barrow Wyrms, Wraiths, and Necromancers all in the same squad because Necromancers need the support of minions, but the point is that in some respects, Waiqar is the worst match-up for Blood Sisters.

 

Personally, I don't have a problem with Syphon. My biggest problem with the Blood Sisters is the lore drain. You can't pay for your awesome lore cards if you are spending all your lore on removing bleed markers. And if you don't bleed your units to use Blood Magic, why take Blood Sisters in the first place? This is why I think the best way to help them is to give them options for removing conditions. That's why I really think Blood Fields should be able to remove conditions.

 

And speaking of lore cards, you mention that the Uthuk have cheaper lore decks than the other units. That's not true. Here is the break-down for total lore-deck cards.

Core Daqan - 65

Hernfar Guardians - 68

Uthuk Core - 70

Warband of Scorn - 74

Terrors of the Mists - 71

Heralds of Dreadfall - 75

 

The Daqan have the cheapest lore decks, overall. The Waiqar decks are only 1 lore more than the the Uthuk decks. You could still choose to deckbuild by removing the costly lore cards and putting in 5 cheaper ones. Assuming you are adjusting the Core deck (because it is cheaper), you could add 1x Blood Hunt (2), 2x Parry (3), and 1x Frenzied (3) and take out 1x Dark Pact (9), 1x Chaos of Battle (8), 1x Lord of Chaos (8), and 1x Bone Spurs (6). I hate to give up Bone Spurs, but it's too expensive with the lore drain, I think. This gives you a deck with a total lore cost of 50. And of course, some of those cards are situational, like Frenzied. In fact, I'd probably keep Bone Spurs and drop that for a total lore cost of 53. So, yes, you can make a cheaper deck by building for it, but then, the Daqan could do the same thing. Alternatively, they could stack their deck with expensive ones because they're not spending lore on anything else, and that could be a tough battle.

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So I do agree the blood sisters have moments where they are stronger than other casters but I do think they are a bit worse off most of the time. The reason I think their siphon is so situational is that I almost never have it go off for me. So the siphon change I suggested was just a random idea I had but I really think they're fine with just the lore change as budgernaut said

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You could (though I really like g1ul10's great change) make poison count the target unit as damaged thereby enabling flesh rippers and blood sisters.

 

I really like that idea. I think I will implent this as house-rule in our games!

 

@ Demigod

Blood Sisters aren't a useless unit. They are still better then the actual Viper Legion. But I really doubt that they ar just near to be on par with the other casters. I share my arguments with Budgernaut, so I will not write such much as he did. He has all important points. Just some comments:

 

Syphon is NOT situational, because they move 2 and their range is 3. I can't believe that you can't find a wounded target within 5 hexes from their position after the first couple of turns.

 

You ignore 2 important points: The healing is up to the max lifepoints. The shild of Greyhaven Battlemages is up to 1 bonus health AND you may protect other units also, without a restritction of the target! That's a huge bonus and far away better! And it may be right that you should find some target that is wounded (far away from sure), but in this game I want to attack the most important targets to get my VP and not any target that doesn't matter but just enables Syphon to trigger if I hit a heroic result!

 

Also: In my games Blood Sisters very often just get ignored, so they never take damage and Syphon ist just a dead ability. Why do they get igored? They are not a real threat and it's way more important to take out Uthuks strong units: fleshrippers, Obscenes or legends! Like they are ranged they will never get damage if the enemy ignores them. And if my enemy wants to pay 3 lore for 1 dmg... well he can do it. I think he does a bad deal unless he eliminates a unit with that.

Edited by phalgast
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However, what about if you roll [lore]-[lore]? You can deal 2 damage, but at the effective cost of 6 lore. Is 6 lore worth dealing 2 damage instead of dealing 0 damage and gaining 2 lore? That's really a choice the player has to make, depending on the situation, but to me that sounds like a bad exchange in general.

 

That's true, it's a choice that the player has to make and it can get expensive... but in some cases it may be worth to pay this cost, at least in my opinion of course  :) Especially if it means killing the Roc Warrior or another big threat.

 

...but let's compare the Blood Sister to the other casters.

 

Grey Haven Battlemages and Necromancers are both support units, while Blood Sisters are all about attacking. Besides the fact that they are all casters, their roles in the respective armies are simply too different to allow a real comparison. As you don't take Flesh Rippers to hold the points, you shouldn't take Blood Sister to support.

 

Blood Sister basically anti-support. Why not just take other melee units?

 

Exactly, they are anti-support! But they are really hard to kill, because they don't get countered, because they can heal back and because they can run away from units that are coming closer and still attack them. At the same time they can hit pretty hard.The reason to take them over other melee units is that they can deal damage withing 5 hexes from their position with the same chances and ignoring Flying, Ethereal and, I forgot to mention it before, Armor of the Ironbounds. This can really come in handy at times. 

 

If the Waiqar player brings Necromancers, they could Drain your lore and you end up with a bunch of bleeding units with no way to heal them.  Waiqar is the worst match-up for Blood Sisters.

 

That's a real risk. I played that match up a few times already and the result was that I couldn't play nor draw lore cards for a good chunk of the game. I could however pay for my conditions. The only way to get out of that situation is to kill the Necromancers ASAP, but that is actually something you should do anyway, because if Waiqar plays Necromancers it means it's using a minion strategy and taking their casters down means weakening their army considerably. I've both won and lost the match up... so I guess I can say that it's still doable  :) The real problem is when Waiqar plays a condition strategy! Then lore gets reeeeeally tight. At the same time I played matches where my Blood Sister massacred their Wraiths, so I still wouldn't say that it's a bad idea to pick Blood Sister against Waiqar.

 

This is why I think the best way to help them is to give them options for removing conditions.  

 

In my opinion, that would throw the whole game out of balance. They wouldn't just lose the draw back, because you could allocate [lore] for damage and then [heroic] to remove the bleeding, but they would also become insane against Waiqar. Now they kill the Wyrm, the Wrights AND at the same time completely counter their conditions strategy.

 

And speaking of lore cards, you mention that the Uthuk have cheaper lore decks than the other units. That's not true. 

 

You're right, my bad! Anyway I checked the Lore Deck list that I usually play with Blood Sisters and the total cost is 51, which makes an average cost of 2,55 lore per card. I think it's still manageable even with Blood Magic crippling our resources.

 

You ignore 2 important points: The healing is up to the max lifepoints [...].  I want to attack the most important targets to get my VP and not any target that doesn't matter but just enables Syphon to trigger

 

1) I don't get why healing back to full health is bad. Is it because you think shielding is better? It might easily be, but Gray Haven Battlemages are support units. I don't judge them on their ability of dealing damage, because they are not meant for that and they really suck in that respect, as they should. Blood Sisters instead are offensive units WITH a great defensive ability as well. That counts for something, at least in my opinion  :)

 

2) I didn't say that you should hit something ignoring the VPs just to get your hit-points back. I just wanted to say that 5 hexes is a lot of range and it sounds pretty absurd to me that you can't find a wounded target in such a wide portion of the board. Besides, if you're doing your job right the units on the VP should be wounded... especially since that's the specialty of the Uthuk Y'llan  ;)

 

All I'm saying is: I trust the developer team a lot. During my 70+ plays of Battlelore I realized that each unit has a purpose in this game and can be used to great effect, even those that seemed weak or under-powered at first. The only exception to this so far have been the Grotesques. That's why I'm testing them as much as possible... with real poor results, I've to say, and I have no idea how they could be fixed. All the other units instead, if used right, can make you really successful.

Edited by AlasDemigod
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This is why I think the best way to help them is to give them options for removing conditions.  

 

In my opinion, that would throw the whole game out of balance. They wouldn't just lose the draw back, because you could allocate [lore] for damage and then [heroic] to remove the bleeding, but they would also become insane against Waiqar. Now they kill the Wyrm, the Wrights AND at the same time completely counter their conditions strategy.

That depends on how you implement the method for removing conditions. If you give the ability to the Blood Sisters unit, then I can see how that shuts down the opponent's tools by negating conditions. If, however, you use the Blood Fields, those are stationary, so you're ability to negate conditions is limited. It's possible to choose which units to bleed for the purposes of Blood Magic, and you can get those units onto Blood Fields, but you don't really have control over which units your opponent panics, blights, or stuns. Also, stun results in 0 movement, so you can't move onto a Blood Fields hex. And blight reduces your movement to 1, so it's not a sure bet that you can move that unit onto the Blood Fields after it's blighted. And even if you could, you'll spend 1 turn to move the blighted unit and have to wait another turn before it removes the blight condition. So unless it is a unit on a Blood Fields hex that is getting a negative condition, it's not going to completely destroy the opponent's ability to apply negative conditions to Uthuk units.

 

Now if the Blood Fields did allow you to remove a negative condition, I wouldn't have the Blood Sisters gain 1 lore on a [lore] result. It needs to be one or the other. I just think that Allowing Blood Fields to remove a condition is a nice way to give some synergy to the Uthuk Y'llan while also mitigating the lore drain Blood Sisters can cause.

 

Granted, if you don't think Blood Sisters cause a significant lore deficit, then there would be no need to add this to Blood Fields.

 

(By the way, I'm really loving the conversation we're all having!)

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I got a chance to try out the suggestions to the Viper Legion. I tried counting Poisoned units as wounded and also that [heroic] results from Viper Legion units could cause a damage to already-poisoned units. Unfortunately, neither triggered. Enemy units were damage before or during the attack in which they were poisoned, so they counted as wounded anyway. One time I rolled two [heroic] results against an unpoisoned unit, but I decided not to deal a damage because the unit wasn't yet poisoned during the commit dice step. Now that I'm writing this, though, I think I was wrong. If you can commit [lore] results to deal damage during an attack in which the targt becomes poisoned, you should be able to commit one [heroic] result to poison the target and the other to deal damage. That would have matteres because it would have finished off the Rune Golem target.

I need to try both of these out more (and not in the same game).

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Yeah, I've been trying out all that stuff I suggested some more as well.  

I'm starting to think my viper legion change, while simple, won't usually do much in the way of making a difference.  Another change I've been thinking of making is just letting viper legions roll an extra die against poisoned units instead.  3d after a condition is applied certainly won't have a huge impact, but I figure I'll test it and see.  

 

I tried the version of grotesque allowing them to blast after OR instead of advancing... and I still didn't get a single bone blast off... I think I just have real bad luck, so I'll probably try it some more times before rushing to judgement.

 

I haven't played with the blood sisters getting an extra lore in a while, but last time I did it certainly did help.  I actually think just giving them 1 lore on blood magic might be all the change they need, but again I'll test that theory more.

 

Oh and yeah, you can hit with lore when the poison is first applied :)  Other effects don't always work like that (flesh rippers can't hit on helms if the first damage applied to the unit also happened during that attack, but that is because all damage except retreat damage is applied at once as are all retreats).

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Oh and yeah, you can hit with lore when the poison is first applied :)  Other effects don't always work like that (flesh rippers can't hit on helms if the first damage applied to the unit also happened during that attack, but that is because all damage except retreat damage is applied at once as are all retreats).

Right. I suppose I should have said, "because" instead of "if." :) Timing wise, you choose the order in which you commit dice, so with Giulio's change, you can choose to commit a [heroic] result to poison the target and then commit the second [heroic] to deal damage since the target is now poisoned.

Edited by Budgernaut

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Yeah, I've been trying out all that stuff I suggested some more as well.

I'm starting to think my viper legion change, while simple, won't usually do much in the way of making a difference. Another change I've been thinking of making is just letting viper legions roll an extra die against poisoned units instead. 3d after a condition is applied certainly won't have a huge impact, but I figure I'll test it and see.

I tried the version of grotesque allowing them to blast after OR instead of advancing... and I still didn't get a single bone blast off... I think I just have real bad luck, so I'll probably try it some more times before rushing to judgement.

I haven't played with the blood sisters getting an extra lore in a while, but last time I did it certainly did help. I actually think just giving them 1 lore on blood magic might be all the change they need, but again I'll test that theory more.

Oh and yeah, you can hit with lore when the poison is first applied :) Other effects don't always work like that (flesh rippers can't hit on helms if the first damage applied to the unit also happened during that attack, but that is because all damage except retreat damage is applied at once as are all retreats).

I think an extra dice for poison isn't the best idea. I do like the version that an poisoned unit counts as wounded. Sure it's a very small Intervention, but the synergie with the fleshrippers makes it feel enough for me. It's not only the hard damage that you get extra, it's also the menace to the enemy player. Knowing that they are enabling to trigger the abilities of Rippers and Blood Sisters may force him to remove the token. I nowadays only very few times remove a poison token, that could Change with this little goody for poison...

@all

Grotesques:

I'm still not happy with our ideas. What do you guys mind to my first idea to Change bone blast: Giveng them the choice every turd to do an melee-attack or a 2-4 with poisoning ability (i think a 3-3 attack would be OP) ranged attack? They would be very flexible but maybe OP imo...

blood sisters:

I will give it a try with the Bonus lore if they roll a lore... comments soon

Edited by phalgast

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@Phalgast

I'll have to try your Bone Blast idea some time. I didn't give it too much thought at first because it reminds me too much of the Grotesque ability in BattleLore: Command. In that game, if your ordered Grotesque does no move, it automatically performs a ranged attack instead of a melee attack. Part of the problem with this is that you can't hold your position and attack adjacent units with a strong attack. Obviously, your proposal is much more flexible, so that is good, because you would still be able to stay on a VP banner and attack with a melee attack.

But the other thing I never liked in BattleLore: Command, which is the same in your proposal, is that the Grotesque loses the ability to attack twice in a single turn. That was always the major draw to me for the unit (well, in addition to the awesome spikes all over). I think your change would make them more versatile, but it just loses one ofthe things that makes the Grotesque special to me. I wonder if it would step on the toes of the other ranged units or if they would still be useful picks. In summary, I think it would make them better, but I don't like it for arbitrary reasons. :)

Also, you wrote Poison instead of bleed. Was that intentional? I don't like the idea of these guys doing ranged attacks AND poisoning. It's too similar to Viper Legion at that point. I know you don't think Bleed is strong, but I like your idea of -2 dice. Alternatively, it would be thematic if both Bleed and Poison made the target treated as wounded.

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@Phalgast Yeah that idea could work, but I think it might still not be enough to make the Grosteque worth picking.  The real problem with Grotesques as I've thought about it more over the last week is that they're really just a glorified Citadel Guard with less potential to take a hex.  You swap Bleed for Superior Tactics (imo Superior Tactics is maybe better) and then you look at Bone Blast and it's a lot like Pursue 1, except that you don't risk counter attacks, but then you also don't move which can be bad, and you are less likely to do damage and so on and so forth.  Bone Blast is at best a slight improvement over Pursue 1, I think.  Therefore, your idea of making it just a second option to attack could work out nicely perhaps if it is used in addition to the current 'pursue-like' functionality.  I'm assuming bleed meant poison and that 2-4 meant 2d and 1-4 range (though you wouldn't ever use it at range 1).  If it's not in addition to that, then I think that leaves the unit only being slightly better than a Citadel Guard at best.

 

@Budgernaut  I think Bleed being -2d might make the unit good enough.  It might even make it too good.  At that point, most units are down to 1d (which you really can't do anything with), archers have 0 (then you REALLY can't do anything) and 4d units only barely maintain usability.  I think it might just become an auto-remove for the other player which is maybe less interesting that just giving them some other kind of buff. 

Sorry that I've just sorta pointed out problems with no solutions.  I honestly have yet to come up with something better for this unit... so maybe I just need to actually test some of these other ideas rather than just theorize about them.

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@Budgernaut  I think Bleed being -2d might make the unit good enough.  It might even make it too good.  At that point, most units are down to 1d (which you really can't do anything with), archers have 0 (then you REALLY can't do anything) and 4d units only barely maintain usability.  I think it might just become an auto-remove for the other player which is maybe less interesting that just giving them some other kind of buff. 

Wow. Totally missed that, myself. So -2 dice is definitely out ... or is it? Stun essentially gives you 0 dice, but you can't even move, counter, or retreat. A -2 bleed still allows movement, retreats, and counters, but if you only have 2 dice to start with, you're gonna have to spend the 2 lore to remove the bleed marker. Furthermore, improving the bleed condition this way also makes the Blood Sister higher risk, because you really just nerfed your own unit if you can't pay the 2 lore. Having a stronger drawback like that would make me even more comfortable with buffing the Blood Sister in other ways, such as the +1 lore.

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@Budgernaut  I think Bleed being -2d might make the unit good enough.  It might even make it too good.  At that point, most units are down to 1d (which you really can't do anything with), archers have 0 (then you REALLY can't do anything) and 4d units only barely maintain usability.  I think it might just become an auto-remove for the other player which is maybe less interesting that just giving them some other kind of buff. 

Wow. Totally missed that, myself. So -2 dice is definitely out ... or is it? Stun essentially gives you 0 dice, but you can't even move, counter, or retreat. A -2 bleed still allows movement, retreats, and counters, but if you only have 2 dice to start with, you're gonna have to spend the 2 lore to remove the bleed marker. Furthermore, improving the bleed condition this way also makes the Blood Sister higher risk, because you really just nerfed your own unit if you can't pay the 2 lore. Having a stronger drawback like that would make me even more comfortable with buffing the Blood Sister in other ways, such as the +1 lore.

 

Well I suppose it's worth testing out.  I'll try in in my next match or 2 and see how it feels.  After hearing your analysis I guess it wouldn't be so bad for the Grotesque to have this ability.  My only concern at that point would be the effective nerf to the Blood Sisters.  I would contend that with the 1 lore change the Blood Sisters would be brought up to par with other casters (or at least close), but then when you throw the bleed change on that could bring them back to subpar levels.  In many practical situations it, of course, wouldn't make a difference since you would have spent the 2 lore to remove the bleed either way, but it does make a potential easy target for your opponent as they have even less fear of counter attack...  Yeah, I guess this really would just need to be tested.

 

I guess another way to boost the Grotesque without touching the Blood Sisters would be to just give a straight upgrade to bone blast.  You could give it more range (up to 3), more attack dice (up to 4) or both.  Both might be a tad too much, but I'm thinking I'll also try different configurations of this.  If range and dice together were too much then I'd scale it back to just the extra die and then finally just the extra range.  It will take time to really test it though since the available lines of sight would greatly alter the effectiveness of the range increase.  

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 I think I was wrong. If you can commit [lore] results to deal damage during an attack in which the targt becomes poisoned, you should be able to commit one [heroic] result to poison the target and the other to deal damage. That would have matteres because it would have finished off the Rune Golem target.

 

Yes this is the way I play it: double heroic poisons and inflicts one damage  to a previously not poisoned unit. I think the advantage of this modification is that it does not change the way the Vipers work and it's easy to remember (plus, they tend to roll a lot of double heroic in my games :-) ). This is not trivial. For instance, in one of my campaigns, in order to boost a bit the Vipers, I added the rule that poisoned units should roll a die at the beginning of their turn and take one hit on a heroic roll. This is nice because it mimics the effect that one normally associates to how poison works. The problem with this rule is that  it introduces a kind of new mechanic, involving the rolling of dice before the play of the command card, which is new for players. As a consequence, people might easily forget it. It's ok for a campaign, in which you are in any case aware of the presence of "special" rules, but I would not recommend it as a generic boost in regular, scenario cards games.

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Haven't been on here in awhile, missed all the fun!

 

 

 

 

Here's my Grotesque fixes.

 

 

First, you may have any number of bleed tokens, reducing attack to a minimum of zero.

 

Second, Bone Blast you may still advance if you want to. Also four dice and not three.

 

 

 

Viper Legion.

 

Change poison to committing Lore and Strike results.

 

 

Blood Sister. Blood Magic should deal 1 damage to a unit within two hexes, not bleed. This allows for better syphoning.

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Welcome back, Toenail! ;)

 

I really like the change to bleeding. It is not as harsh as an immediate -2, but it still gives the opponent an urgency to remove those tokens. It doesn't break the Blood Sister, either, since her text still says to bleed a non-bleeding friendly unit. Question, would it be 2 lore to remove 1 bleed marker, or would it be 2 lore per marker?

 

I think letting the Grotesque choose whether to advance or not is a good addition that's not super unbalanced. Between the stackable bleed and the optional advance, are they "there" yet? I'm not sure. But if not, I think I'd keep the bleed and keep trying fix the whole advancing and Bone Blast problem.

 

The Viper Legion fix is interesting. It really only changes ranged attackers' chances to deal damage against a poisoned unit. Is that enough of a boost?

 

So with your Blood Sister fix, the Blood Sister can wound herself and then gain health back with Syphon, right? Definitely gets more of a combo going. I feel like it might be too close to Blood Harvesters, though, where you suffer a damage to deal a damage.

Edited by Budgernaut
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